Noreen started Entangle Harmony to help parents connect with their children and get outdoors to learn about the world around them. She is passionate about nature and runs a program in her community especially for young kids. Noreen is a busy business mum – she leads by example and loves to garden and do woodworking with her own kids too – they even keep bees! Here’s how she did it:
Tell us about your business or blog
Entangled Harmony is a place for moms who want to slow down and share the simple joys of childhood with their little ones. By combining original short stories with simple activities, I show parents how easy it can be to connect with their child and engage them in meaningful experiences. And the surprise bonus that moms often comment on is that their children begin to play independently more.
On my website, I provide a number of free resources for parents and sell a year-long series that is filled with stories and activities. I also run a nature program for young children in my community, which provides a lovely balance to my online business.
Why did you start it?
Many of today’s moms want their little ones to experience more of the outdoors. They want them to play independently. They want a simpler, slower way of parenting and raising their children. I grew up in a small village in Saxony, Germany and I had exactly that. So, when I moved to the US in my 20’s and discovered that while 3-year olds were being taught their ABCs, they knew very little about the world around them. I was determined to share the simple joys of childhood with as many children and parents as possible. Knowing that my work now reaches families all around the world makes my heart sing.
What steps have you taken to get traction?
Connecting with my subscribers has been key from day number one. At first, it felt a bit silly to send out an e-mail to only four people but I quickly realized that the small size allowed me to truly nurture those relationships. My list began to grow and I received more and more feedback, which kept me going. I remember reading somewhere ‘Do things that scale.’ I thought that was brilliant.
What has been the main way of getting your name out there?
Word of mouth is always the best way of getting new customers and that works really well for my nature program. In the online world, however, I have found that in addition to word of mouth, joining Facebook groups is an excellent way of connecting with my target market. It’s easy to provide value and show off your skills and knowledge.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Trying to grow my business while juggling work and family life has by far been the biggest challenge. I had to face the truth – I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to. Slowing down and creating good routines helped a lot. After all, growing a business is not a race. We own our businesses because we are passionate about them. If we are running on empty because of them, they are not bringing us joy and that defeats the purpose, right?
What has been your biggest success in your business?
In the early stages of my business, I offered my story and activity series as a monthly PDF. Over time, I received more and more requests for a subscription so moms wouldn’t need to remember to purchase a new issue each month. I took the plunge and offered the series as a monthly subscription. It was a HUGE commitment at the time because I hadn’t created the content for the upcoming months yet. But sales skyrocketed overnight and gave me the motivation to hustle and get it done.
What is your family life like outside of business?
Well, naturally it’s very similar to my business and what I teach. We love to be outdoors. We cook, garden, keep bees, do woodworking, work with clay, play games and so on. And since I grew up in Germany, we also travel back to Germany regularly.
What do you love most about being a business mum?
I love the flexibility that it provides me. I can be there for my kids when they need me and they get to help with the business, which they love. I also enjoy being my own boss and having the freedom to do what I’m most passionate about.
What advice would you give someone getting started today?
Ask for help! I started out trying to do it all on my own and it was exhausting and debilitating. You need to have someone to bounce ideas off, someone who will give you honest feedback, someone to brainstorm with, to proof-read, to hold you accountable, and so on. Ask a friend for help. Find a mentor or business coach. Join a Facebook group that supports mums with businesses.